Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas! A Blessed New Year!

I'm getting ready to go to Mass, we will have to arrive 45 minutes early to get a seat today. The rice balls are ready to be fried. This year my cousin is hosting Christmas Eve dinner so it will be less hectic tonight but I've still been cooking for days. Tomorrow I will have company on Christmas Day.
I'm grateful for the beautiful feast of Christmas, for the Savior of the World who made all this possible. The Christ Child brings joy and hope. Certainly the world needs the message He preached of love, forgiveness, God's mercy, healing, prayer, salvation and bringing forth the Kingdom of God. For those who hear the message and respond, they are surely blessed. For those who reject the message, we can only pray that someday they will come to the knowledge and love of God. A relationship with God through prayer is enriching and brings hope, if only all eyes could be opened to that reality.
May you have a blessed Christmas and I pray the New Year will be filled with hope, joy and new beginnings for all. It's been a difficult year for many on the east coast of the U. S. The news has been horrific, but for those who love God, they can go forward knowing many people are praying for them and caring from afar. Hope is essential for a Christian as is sharing compassion and charity.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Devil's Work in Newtown, Conn.

Once again, the devil is at work, the mark of the evil one is all over the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Those beautiful children and their educators struck down too young in a horrific mass murder, through gun violence. Advent joy has been stolen from Newtown and from compassionate people everywhere.  Too many families will never be the same. So many caring people have been saddened by this tragedy. As President Obama said yesterday at the Interfaith Prayer Service, something has to change. "Can we honestly say we are doing enough to keep our children, all of us, safe from harm?....If we are honest with ourselves, the answer is no...we are not doing enough and we have to change."
Nancy Lanzer the mother of the shooter, was shot by her own son, even though she stood by him his entire life. Though we will never know, what made him snap, I'm sure that he was hearing voices telling him to do what he did or at least suggestions. Why else would he kill the only person who stood by him, as he struggled through life being different and alienated? Why else would he pick on the innocent young children, who he didn't even know.  Demons are cunning and for someone with a mental illness or mental challenges, I'm sure devils are able to influence a weak and disturbed mind, in my opinion. (Though people smarter than me, believe the same thing.)  Evil is real, evil must be defeated and overcome but for someone who struggled their entire life with a mental disability, unfortunately, horrifically, the demons won this time. Mental illness needs to be studied more, researched more and more money has to be put into programs that help those who suffer from it.
One reporter called St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, the bedrock of the community. People filled the Church the night of the killings and afterwards seeking comfort and solace in prayer and within the sacred, peaceful space.  There are no answers, these were senseless killings, but let's pray that changes are made in society that stop this from happening again.
Children need quiet time, prayer time and quality family time. In the modern world, everything is happening too fast. Children watch too much violence on TV and in movies, there is too much violence in video games, there is too much rushing around. Children need to relax, to build a relationship with God through prayer and they need to eat dinner with their family, as often as possible and build meaningful communication with family members and friends.  Children need to attend religious services or Mass. Prayer is healing and helpful for human beings, at every stage in life. It is essential for children or people with mental illness.
We can do better as President Obama remarked. We must do better. There is so much at stake. I am certain that God weeps too.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Times Square Anti-Christian Billboard Is Sickening

When I saw a photo of the anti-Christian billboard that militant, nasty and disrespectful atheists put up in Times Square, NY it made me sick. How dare they? To put up a picture of Jesus crucified, the Savior, Redeemer, God incarnate for Christians and refer to an historical figure revered by billions with the caption, "Dump the Myth," is beyond low. These are ignorant and cunning people who wish to sow discord. They've pushed the Christian community too far.  I'm sure some of the workers, who helped put that controversial billboard up, were probably Christian. I wonder how they felt about what they were doing.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League should start to collect donations for next year to make sure that a billboard honoring the Nativity and honoring Christ is put up in Times Square.
Bill Donohue, the spokesman for the Catholic League said this, "This year is different. This is vile. When you depict Jesus on the cross with a crown of thorns, this is exploitative. We as Christians never harass, intimidate or insult atheists. But they can't seem to say, 'We simply disagree with you.' They have to insult us."
Well, I'm insulted, outraged and disgusted with these small- minded, arrogant, prideful, anti-Christian people, who have no respect for the sacred or religious beliefs of others.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you. I ask your pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you.  (Fatima Pardon Prayer)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

End Of The World....NOT!

The world certainly could not end during the Season of Hope-the sacred liturgical season of Advent. Doubt it! Human beings tend to deny death, our own death.  Many people live as if they will never die. We are all going to die one day, so in reality the end of the world, our world, the end of our lives on this earth will end one day (hopefully peacefully). This obsession some people have with the world ending with sudden destruction is strange. Unfortunately, for many who lost everything, the apocalypse happened already when Hurricane Sandy came ashore on the northeast coast of the United States. Flooding, historic storm surge, fire, death, destruction, loss of power....that was an apocalypse of sorts for many.
No one knows the day or hour as Jesus said, only God the Father, and God is merciful. Christ will return in glory but not after destruction and chaos, that's not God's way.
An interesting article appeared in Sunday's New York Times, titled, "In Panicky Russia, It's Official: End of the World Is Not Near," by Ellen Barry. Apparently, apocalyptic "fever" has taken hold in parts of Russia. From the article, "For those not schooled in New Age Prophecy, there are rumors the world will end on Dec. 21st, 2012, when a 5,125 year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close. Russia, a nation with a penchant for mystical thinking, has taken notice. Last week, Russia's government decided to put an end to the doomsday talk. Its minister of emergency situations said Friday that he has access to 'methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth' and that he could say with confidence that the world was not going to end in December......"
Well, I agree with that. I can say with confidence that God's mercy and goodness will prevail and that we can count on that.
However, preventive measures will have to be put in place, in case the future holds more violent, unpredictable storms, because of global warming, and that's just common sense.
A Blessed Advent........